Tuesday Zedlines, 7th December

Lobby group AgForce will request the Queensland government extends disaster relief to cotton and wheat farmers affected by recent flooding.

Over a hundred and fifty million dollars damage is already estimated to have been done, with AgForce estimates expecting another 30 million dollars of crop damage.

Currently, 11 Queensland shires are eligible for relief.

Wikileaks frontman Julian Assange is expected to appear in a UK court tomorrow to negotiate the terms of a Swedish extradition warrant.

The Australian-born Assange is facing claims of assault and sex offences, however his lawyers have stressed he is yet to be formally charged.

The controversial Wikileaks site recently published secret US diplomatic and military documents, which Mr Assange reportedly believes has motivated his prosecution.

The Queensland Electrical Trades Union have warned they’re considering backing an independent candidate in Transport Minister Rachel Nolan’s Ipswich seat following the QR National sale.

The transport company was privatised last month, with over seven hundred jobs affected. Despite a two thirds majority in the last election, experts are predicting a severe poll drop in the2012 election.

Ms Nolan has said she will stand by the Labor party’s infrastructure policies.

A report by the National Drug Authority has recommended the banning the sale of mixed alcohol and energy drinks.

High-energy drinks can delay the effects of alcohol, but also magnify their eventual results.

State president of the Australian Hotels Association Ian Horne said he welcomed plans to consult with the industry, but did not support the proposed regulations.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has defended Australia’s relations with China, following communiques released on Wikileaks.

Files leaked by the site have led to allegations of corruption and dealings with organised crime in other nations.

Mr Rudd refused comment on the accuracy of the Wikileaks files, but said the diplomatic process was robust.

Norm Hetherington, creator of the long-running Mr Squiggle children’s show, has died at the age of 89.

Mr Squiggle first appeared on the ABC in 1959, as a segment in the show Children’s TV Club, with all voices provided by Norm, and all scripts being written by wife Margaret.

Mr Squiggle then ran in various incarnations for the next forty years. Mr Hetherington is survived by his wife, son and daughter.

Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor has announced his support for an R18 plus rating for video games.

In an article written by the minister, Mr O’Connor said there was no sufficient evidence to support claims violent gameplay led to violent behaviour.

State and Territory Classification Ministers will meet in Canberra on Friday to discuss a possible adults only classification for games.

Repeated accidents in the Gladstone Harbour have raised concerns over safety and shipping protocols.

Maritime Safety Queensland are currently investigating an incident last week, where a barge lost moorings last week and ran aground.

The MSQ said their focus is on managing risk in the port environment.

Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett will today meet with state and territory ministers to discuss a national curriculum agreement.

However, both the Victorian and West Australian governments are unwilling to support the plan, and New South Wales Education Minister Verity Firth has advised better time allocations for individual subjects.

The curriculum is scheduled to be implemented by 2013.

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